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7 of the best LGBTQ moments from TV last year.

How TV took the conversation way beyond marriage.

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Modern Love

Do you remember when Edith Bunker got a job at Louise Jefferson's store?

It caused quite a stir in the fictional Bunker household.

You see, the cantankerous "All in the Family" main character, Archie, didn't want his wife to take the job offer. Not only because it came from his archnemesis George Jefferson but because he was afraid of what people would think of his white wife working in a black man's store.


Those were the days. Image via John S./YouTube.

"What are the neighbors going to say?" Archie asked. "I mean the white neighbors. ... You working at a colored store? What are they going to say?"

"Well," Edith replied with her trademark combination of wisdom and naïveté, "I guess they'll just say, 'Hi, Edith!'"

TV shows often provide a cross-section of American culture. They have a unique, often subtle way of tapping into the important discussions and issues of the day, from race relations to gender roles to LGBTQ rights.

In the first year since the landmark Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality in June 2015, some of America's most popular TV shows have brought LGBTQ characters, issues, and discussions into our homes.

They've moved the conversation forward and helped ensure that LGBTQ rights remain something we all think about, talk about, and care about.

Here are seven of the biggest and best moments for LGBTQ characters from TV in the 2015-2016 season:

1. "How to Get Away With Murder" revealed its main character to be bisexual.

When the hit ABC drama premiered for its second season back in September 2015, fans got a glimpse into the mysterious past of protagonist Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) — which included the revelation that she's bisexual.

Davis was the first African-American woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

While the show is known for its twists and surprises, the moment wasn't played for shock. It simply added a new layer to the character. Shonda Rhimes, who created the show, even said that she's not trying to shock people. Just the opposite, in fact.

"I’m normalizing TV," said Rhimes at an awards gala. "I am making TV look like the world looks. Women, people of color, LGBTQ people, equal way more than 50 percent of the population. Which means it ain’t out of the ordinary."

2. On "Empire," Jamal came out of the closet in a big, bold way.

The prodigal-son character Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) has had it pretty rough. When he was a child, his father literally threw him in the garbage for acting effeminate. While his mother was incarcerated, he was abused and told by his disapproving dad to "act like a man."

Which is why it was a pretty huge deal when Jamal came out of the closet, not hiding from his father, but right in front of him. On a stage. In a white suit. In song. At a massive party. Yeah.

Image via Empire/YouTube.

Even though Jamal knew his father would disapprove, he chose to publicly and epically embrace who he is.

Since queer men of color are hugely underrepresented on TV and in media, Jamal's primetime showstopper was an even bigger deal. Sure, not everyone can come out via a dazzling musical number, but it still shows that you should embrace who you are no matter what anyone says.

And why not go big while you do it?

3. "The Fosters" aired the youngest same-sex kiss in TV history.

"The Fosters," which is one of the most progressive and forward-thinking TV shows on air right now, took LGBTQ visibility to new heights when 13-year-old will-they-won't-they couple Connor (Gavin MacIntosh) and Jude (Hayden Byerly) shared their first on-screen kiss.

What's the big deal? Well just that it was the youngest same-sex kiss in TV history.

Image via The Nomad/YouTube.

Crushes and first kisses are a pretty huge part of everyone's young life, and "The Fosters" did an amazing thing by helping to normalize young same-sex romance.

The kiss was historic, but it was also just as heartwarming and sweet as any other first love story. Which is probably why the #Jonner fanbase was freaking the f**k out. (In a good way).

4. Over on Cartoon Network, "Steven Universe" featured a lesbian couple.

"Steven Universe" is a groundbreaking, envelope-pushing kids show about a young kid named Steven who protects the universe with gems.

In July 2015, it was revealed that Garnet, one of the show's side characters, is actually a fusion of two other characters — Ruby and Sapphire. After that reveal, series producer Ian Jones-Quarterly later confirmed that Ruby and Sapphire are a lesbian couple.

An adorable lesbian couple.


GIF from "Steven Universe."

"TV and movie representation matters," says Edward Schiappa, a communications professor at the University of Minnesota. According to The New York Times, Schiappa performed five studies that all showed that the presence of gay characters on TV decreases prejudice. "These attitude changes are not huge — they don’t change bigots into saints. But they can snowball." Schiappa said.

For kids watching cartoons, seeing LGBTQ characters can help dissolve some societal prejudices as early as possible.

5. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" shined a big spotlight on bisexuality and the problem of bi-erasure.

While there have been increasing numbers of gay and lesbian characters, bisexuality is still underrepresented on TV and is often misrepresented to the point of being harmful. According to GLAAD, only 18 bisexual men appeared on television in 2015, and many of them fell into "dangerous stereotypes about bisexual people."

Some of those harmful stereotypes include the idea that bisexual people are somehow more sexually promiscuous than others or that they simply haven't made up their minds about their sexuality yet and are really just gay or lesbian.

"Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," a musical show about a New York lawyer who follows an old flame to California, decided to address all those stereotypes head-on when divorced-father-and-lawyer character Darryl Whitefeather (Pete Gardner)realized, later in life, that he was bi.

Image via The CW/YouTube.

He announced this to his colleagues in a musical number called "Getting Bi" which was simultaneously a jazzy smackdown of those who don't think that bisexuality is a real thing and a proud celebration of his sexual identity.

While bisexuality is still often misrepresented, it was awesome to see it addressed in such a big way.

6. Scott Turner Schofield became the first transgender man to star in a daytime soap opera.

It's hard to get more "Americana" than a daytime soap opera. While most shows come and go, soap operas like "The Bold and the Beautiful" remain, providing an ever-evolving canvas of characters and storylines that reflect the times.

When Scott Turner Schofield joined the cast of "The Bold and the Beautiful" in April 2015, he became the first openly transgender actor to ever play a major role on a soap.

Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for GLAAD.

His character, Nick, is a mentor and friend of another transgender character on the show played by actress Karla Mosley.

"I am grateful to be able to help uplift and honor ‪‎transgender‬ people in this moment. I had such help from my communities, becoming me," Schofield said in a Facebook post.

With millions of people tuning in to soap operas, Schofield's casting does a lot for trans visibility — something that the trans community continues to fight for.

7. "How to Get Away With Murder" featured an open and frank discussion about HIV and PrEP.

There's a reason "How to Get Away With Murder" is featured on this list twice. The show has done, and continues to do, a lot for LGBTQ visibility and representation.

One of the show's recent plot turns involved Oliver (Conrad Ricamora) revealing to his boyfriend Connor (Jack Falahee) that he is HIV positive. As that storyline played out, the two discussed options for continuing their relationship despite the diagnosis. Naturally, the conversation turned to the HIV prevention drug PrEP — which many couples use to stay safe.

Jack Falahee and Conrad Ricamora at the Point Honors Gala. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Point Foundation.

HIV overwhelmingly affects members of the LGBTQ community, particularly gay and bisexual men who account for two-thirds of all new diagnoses.

Safety and HIV prevention is a real concern but one that is often shrouded in secrecy and stigma. For a primetime TV show to openly discuss it is a huge win for public health.

All of these moments have contributed to something greater than just entertainment.

They've helped the LGBTQ community be seen and heard in new ways. They've pushed our often stubborn and slow-moving country a little further toward equal rights and made the discussion of LGBTQ equality about more than just marriage.

There's still a lot of work to be done. The LGBTQ community is still subject to prejudice, hate, and violence. After the shooting in Orlando, just one year after the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, you probably don't need to be reminded of that.

But the more we embrace love — in our lives, in our hearts, and even on our TV sets, the better the world gets.

Nothing can stop the march forward.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Health

Neuroscience learns what Buddhism has known for ages: There is no constant self

Buddhist Monks have known for thousands of years what science is just now learning: the mind can be changed by training it.

Ven. Thich Thong Hai prays by a statue of Buddha in the garden at the Ventura Buddhist Center.

Proving that science and religion can, in fact, overlap, University of British Columbia researcher Evan Thompson has confirmed the Buddhist teaching of the not-self, or "anatta," is more than just a theory.

"Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness," he tells Quartz. "And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There's nothing that corresponds to the sense that there's an unchanging self."


This reality that nothing stays the same should be liberating, because if people believe it, they'll no longer define themselves by their thoughts or be limited by a fixed idea of who they are. Their possibilities will be endless.

Buddhist Monks have known for thousands of years what science is just now learning: the mind can be changed by training it. Neuroplasticity, as it's called, endows people with the ability to grow and evolve, triumphing over bad habits and becoming more like the individuals they want to be.

Buddha, religion, self awareness, evolution, enlightenment

Buddha GIF

Giphy Discover & share this Big GIF with everyone you know. GIPHY is how you search, share, discover, and create GIFs.

Still, exactly how consciousness relates to the brain eludes both Buddhism and neuroscience. Buddhists suppose there's an iteration of consciousness that doesn't require a physical body; neuroscientists disagree.

"In neuroscience, you'll often come across people who say the self is an illusion created by the brain," Thompson says. "My view is that the brain and the body work together in the context of our physical environment to create a sense of self. And it's misguided to say that just because it's a construction, it's an illusion."


This article originally appeared on 09.23.17

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

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Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Photo by Shabaz Usmani on Unsplash

Target is dropping prices.

It's been a weird few years for theU.S. economy as the COVID-19 pandemic threw the entire system into disarray and recovery from it took some unpredicted turns, for better and for worse. One thing we knew would be coming was inflation, and Americans have felt it at the checkout counter. Price increases on basic food staples as well as restaurant prices across the board have been painful reminders that, despite record unemployment and a booming stock market, everyday life has gotten ridiculously expensive.

But there are some signs things may be taking a positive turn, such as Target's announcement that they will be cutting prices on thousands of items, including household essentials, in the coming months. Here's what shoppers can expect:


Target has already reduced prices on approximately 1,500 items and will continue through the summer to drop thousands more. "Consumers will enjoy savings on everyday items such as milk, meat, bread, soda, fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks, yogurt, peanut butter, coffee, diapers, paper towels, pet food and more. These price reductions will collectively save consumers millions of dollars this summer," the company shared in a press release.

More specifically, a pound of Good & Gather Unsalted Butter that was $3.99 will be $3.79, Good & Gather 5 oz. Organic Baby Spinach will drop from $3.29 to $2.99, and a 20-ounce package of Thomas' Plain Bagels is going from $4.19 to $3.79. Just in time for summer, Aveeno SPF 50 Sunscreen (3 fl oz) will drop from $13.89 to $13.19.

Savvy Target shoppers know how to get the most bang for their buck on a Target trip by using their Target Circle Card, which gives them an additional 5% off purchases, and the company recently reintroduced Target Circle, its free-to-join membership program that applies deals automatically at checkout and features member-exclusive sales throughout the year like Target Circle Week and Target Circle Bonuses—personalized deals to help members earn rewards and get extra savings.

LinkedIn editor Cate Chapman calls Target's price cuts a "sign of disinflation at work"—a hopeful sign, considering Target isn't the only store to announce price drops . Walmart predicted months ago that a "deflationary environment" would mean lower prices on dry groceries and consumables and they were already seeing lower prices on grocery items such as eggs, apples and deli snacks.

woman smiling in a grocery aisle

People's money should go a little further at the grocery store this summer.

Photo by Arren Mills on Unsplash

Even already-low-priced grocery chain Aldi has announced lower prices on 250 items for the summer of 2024. “We don’t want food prices to hold people back from getting together with friends and family or spending time outdoors this season," Dave Rinaldo, president at Aldi U.S., said in a statement.

And McDonald's, which has seen price increases over 100% over the past decade, announced recently that it is exploring a $5 meal option. It used to be that $5 could easily pay for a full McD's meal, but you can't even get a kids' Happy Meal for that price in 2024.

People have reacted to the news of lower grocery prices with a mix of relief and annoyance at feeling like they were being price gouged. They have a point. In fact, President Biden had taken aim at corporations in November of 2023, saying, “Any corporation that has not brought their prices back down, even as inflation has come down, even as the supply chains have been rebuilt, it’s time to stop the price gouging."

Whatever the reason for the lowered prices, feeling a little ease instead of squeeze at the checkout counter will be a refreshing change from the past few years.

@tabathalynnk/TikTok, Photo credit: Canva

They've still got the moves

Ready to get transported back to the Decade of Decadence? Cause this wholesome new TikTok trend is gonna put you right back in the attitude-filled, neon colored post-disco era otherwise known as the 80s.

Specifically, it’s going to take you back to an 80s dance club.

In the trend, kids ask their parents to “dance like it’s the 80s,” as the 1984 track “Smalltown Boy” by the British pop band Bronski Beat plays in the background. The song's high energy tempo mixed with heartbreaking, anguish-ridden lyrics make it a fitting choice to bring us back to the time period.

As for the parents—let's just say that muscle memory kicks in the minute the tune begins to play, and it’s a whole vibe.


Check out Tabatha Lynn's video of her mom, Leanne Lynn, which currently has over 8 million views.

@tabathalynnk My moms 80s dance moves, I wanna be her when I grow up 😍 our kids better not ask us this in 30 years 😂 #80s #momsoftiktok #dancemoves ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Leanne and Tabatha told TODAY that since going viral, the dance is now a common “topic of conversation in the family text group.”

There are two factors here that folks really seem to connect with.

One: 80s dancing was simple. Just moving to the rhythm, maybe a head bob for some flair or a robot if you’re feeling adventurous. Of course, the 80s had ambitious moves like the worm and the moonwalk, but for the most part it was just about groovin’ to beat.

@marynepi One thing about Ms. Suzanne, shes gonna slay. #fypage #dance #slay #80s #yasqueen #trending #trend ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Then there’s seeing the parents light up at the chance to go back to the days of their youth.

“I can literally see the young women in these women spring out in fluidity. Love this trend,” one person commented.

@lavaleritaaa Love her 😭 “Se me espeluco el moño” 😂 #80s #momdancechallenge ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Another seconded, “I love seeing moms remember when they were just themselves.”

Of course, dads are totally rocking this trend too. Check it out:

@chrisbrown711 I dont normally do trends but i got in on this one. How did I do? #fyp #blessed #80sdancechallenge #80smusic #80s ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

The 80s was a time of rapid expansion for music. Much of this we have the birth of MTV to thank for, which subsequently dropped music videos, CDs and a vast array of sub genres straight into the heart of pop culture.

Plus, the 80s brought us the synthesizer, which remains a strangely satisfying sound even in 2024. So while the era might have brought some things that most of us would prefer not to revisit—like acid washed denim and awful, awful hairstyles—some of its gems are truly timeless.

The trend also shows how, even though the weekly outing to a dance hall might be a thing of the past, people inherently want to bust a move. Luckily, there’s no shortage of clubs that cater to someone’s music tastes, no matter the era.

Speaking for 00s teens everywhere…just play the Cha Cha slide and we’ll come a-runnin.

A woman is sad after getting charged a huge junk fee.

Just about everyone has had the depressing experience of sitting through a long queue to get concert tickets, only to find when they were ready to check out, the price was 30 to 40% higher because of service fees added by the ticketing company.

People often have the same experience when ordering food through an app, only to see a massive service fee applied right before they're ready to place their order.

These service fees, known by many as “junk fees,” are popping up everywhere these days, from surprise resort fees charged when checking out of a hotel to a 4% surcharge on a dinner bill that the restaurant added so you can help pay for their employees' healthcare.


The good news for people in California is that a new bill will go into effect on July 1st that bans hidden or unexpected fees on everything from concert tickets to cruise packages. Senate Bill 478 (SB 478) makes it illegal for businesses to advertise or list a price for a good or service that does not include all required fees or charges other than certain government taxes and shipping costs.

“Our price transparency law is about clear and honest communication with consumers so consumers can make the financial choices that are best for them and their families. This new guidance provides information for businesses across California to ensure that clear answers are available, particularly for small businesses,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement. “The law is simple: the price you see is the price you pay. Laws work when everyone can comply. I am pleased that we can offer this guidance to help facilitate compliance with the law and make a more fair and level marketplace for businesses and consumers."

A 2023 survey of Americans found that 2 out of 3 said they were paying more in surprise charges now than they had five years earlier.

The bill is good news for consumers who want to make thoughtful decisions about how they spend their money, especially when inflation has made it a lot harder to stretch a dollar. However, the bill probably won’t make things any cheaper. Businesses most likely won’t stop charging these hidden fees; instead, they will be rolled into the listed price instead of popping up out of nowhere right before you hit the “pay now” button.

State Senator Bill Dodd from Napa, the bill's co-author, stated its goals: “A consumer shouldn’t discover hidden fees made up by a business when they pay their bill.”

As the old saying goes, “As goes California, so goes the nation,” and when companies are forced to alter their pricing and marketing in America's most populous state, it’s bound to create changes for consumers across the country. The new law could be the first shot in a larger war against junk fees.

In 2023, President Biden called out Ticketmaster and others who charge "junk fees" in his State of the Union address, claiming he’ll get “rid of junk fees, those hidden fees at the end of your bill that are there without your knowledge.” In his 2022 State of the Union speech, Biden criticized the hotel industry for surprise fees at checkout. "We’ll ban surprise ‘resort fees’ that hotels tack on to your bill. These fees can cost you up to $90 a night at hotels that aren’t even resorts,” Biden said.

This Federal pressure led several companies, including Live Nation, SeatGeek, xBk, Airbnb, the Pablo Center at the Confluence, TickPick, DICE and the Newport Festivals Foundation, to make their pricing more transparent.



Categories are great for some things: biology, herbs, and spices, for example.

Image via

But bodies? Well, putting bodies into categories just gets weird. There are around 300 million people in America, but only 12 or so standard sizes for clothing: extra-extra-small through 5x.


That's why designer Mallorie Dunn is onto something with her belief — people have different bodies and sizing isn't catching up.

Dunn has found that the majority of clothing sizes stop at an extra-large, yet the majority of women in America are over that. "And that just doesn't make sense," she says.

All images via Smart Glamor, used with permission.

Human spice rack, only, a LOT more variations of flava. ;)



That's why she started a project around her clothing label, Smart Glamour, to document the bodies of models according to their sizes — and to show how one size can look very different on different bodies.

In pursuit of creating a fashion environment that's kinder to all bodies, Dunn has dedicated herself to educating consumers about sizing.

First, she found 60 people of 12 different sizes and took their pictures.

Then, she put five women at a time in the same size of skirt and shirt to show how diversely beautiful human bodies are and to prove that everyone looks different in clothes no matter what size they have on.

She hoped to show people that 12 sizes don't even come close to capturing the beauty of the human form.

All these models are wearing the same size ... but do they look the same?

"No matter what size you are that's not what dictates your worth or your beauty."

"I had a convo with a friend of mine who was like 'Yeah, if I went from a medium to a large, I'd be fine with it, but if I went from a large to an extra-large, that wouldn't be OK' and I was like, 'Why???' And she had no rational reason behind that," Dunn said, describing a conversation we've all either had, started, or heard. "We've been taught forever that the bigger something sounds, the worse that it is."

Dunn's project also shows just how arbitrary and narrow-minded clothing sizes are.

Sizes really are just numbers.

Unlike the images we are presented both in clothing ads and in entertainment and media, human beings aren't, as Dunn remarked, "robots who come out on a conveyor belt ... we're all shaped differently."

The pressure to look one way is obnoxious. And kinda dangerous.

"We've been taught forever that the bigger something sounds, the worse that it is."

There's so much weight — no pun intended — on being the "right" size.

"You put an 'extra' on top of a 'large,' and suddenly it's the end of the world," Dunn said of her experience in fashion sizing. "... And it really doesn't mean anything, it really only means that there's an extra inch of fabric."

One extra inch of fabric.

3 in 4 girls report feeling depressed, guilty, or shameful after just three minutes of leafing through a fashion mag.

But I'd like to imagine a world where everyone can try on clothes and leave the emotional burden of worrying about fit to the clothes.

Instead, let's focus on what looks good on our bodies. Let the clothes handle the emotional roller coaster of not fitting, and you just live your life in the body you've been given.

Dunn, who has worked for fashion houses for her whole career, puts it bluntly: "Clothes are not made for all bodies. ... We shouldn't then think when something doesn't fit us that it's somehow our fault."

Dunn's models also have a group on Facebook where they support each other, compliment each other, and generally lift each other up. Model Stephanie describes it this way: "We see the beauty in one another and help each other to recognize our own beauty at the same time." Fashion leading to body optimism and confidence? Yes, please.

And Dunn herself drives a hard line when it comes to feeling good in the skin you've been given. Her philosophy is this: No matter what size you are, that's not what dictates your worth or your beauty.

Self-worth not based on appearances. That's a category we can all aspire to "fit" into!


This article originally appeared on 07.27.16